Hospital expansion included in provincial budget
Collingwood General and Marine Hospital has been given the green light on its redevelopment with the release of the province’s 2019 budget.
Minister of Finance Victor Fedeli’s budget titled Protecting What Matters, says “Across the province, approximately 60 major hospital projects are currently under construction or in various stages of planning. The government is committed to working with hospitals to implement these projects to meet local health system needs.”
It includes Collingwood General and Marine Hospital – Planning for Hospital Redevelopment: support expansion of services including intensive care, inpatient care and emergency services.
“This is a very exciting day for the Collingwood General and Marine Hospital and the entire South Georgian Bay community! A new hospital for our growing region of 60,000 permanent residents, 30,000 weekenders and approximately 3.5 million annual visitors, is greatly needed. We appreciate the province’s support and investment in the hospital’s redevelopment and our community, as we continue to provide outstanding care – for life,” said CGMH President and CEO, Norah Holder.
The hospital says it continues to work with the Capital Branch of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) and the five surrounding municipalities, in a collaborative and productive manner. The project still needs to follow the MOHLTC’s five-stage capital planning process, which will involve reviews and future approvals from the Ministry and government. Although it’s still a long road ahead and it’s anticipated that a new build is likely still eight years away, officials say they have good momentum.
“This is great news for our community and I am so proud of the hard work and focus our team has maintained over the past few years. We continue to advance community health through compassionate, innovative and collaborative care for our community,” said Chief of Staff, Dr. Michael Lisi.
The hospital can now commence preparations for a capital redevelopment campaign.
“We are very enthusiastic about the announcement which brings with it a commitment to raise $80 million as the local share of the project. A fundraising campaign of this magnitude has never been attempted in South Georgian Bay and will require a great deal of preparation before launching, but we are excited for the opportunity that lies ahead,” said the hospital’s executive director Jory Pritchard-Kerr.
Simcoe Grey MPP Jim Wilson thanked the government for supporting the expansion of the Collingwood hospital, and of Stevenson Memorial Hospital in Alliston.
He said both hospitals were ignored by the Liberals for 15 years.
“We can now get on with the job of building new facilities. Today’s announcement means that our hospitals will each have access to the millions of new dollars that will be needed to plan these redevelopments. This is a huge and necessary first step towards modernizing our hospitals. I look forward to continuing to work with each of our hospitals to get the planning done and shovels in the ground.” Added Wilson. “Local fundraising can now formally begin as we demonstrate to the government that the people of Simcoe-Grey stand firmly behind their hospitals.”